What XFactor can teach you about following dreams after rejection

hj2Following dreams often leads to rejection, insecurity and uncertainty. It isn’t always nice and the individual is often left wondering why they’re putting themselves through so much pain. But, as XFactor continues to show us (think of Alexandra last year), it is a brave person who shakes off that rejection and carries on. The basic message has to be that true failure only comes when you (yes, you) stop trying.

Last night saw Rikki Loney auditioning again. Last year’s clip of him got to me. Sometimes when things go wrong and it looks like all your dreams are falling apart, it’s almost easier to give up. Rikki didn’t. He came back, showing talent and determination. (good luck to the lad!)

But my favourite last night had to be Olly Murs. That boy’s got rhythm and soul. I love love loved him. He has a touch of the Will Youngs and the Gary Barlows about him, which is clearly a good thing.

[NB: the photo of Wolverine has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but my, isn't he pretty]

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  • claire p
    Posted September 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    A men to that! I don’t watch X factor (hangs head) but I do know about not giving up on something you want. Wolverine humm, you’d get on well with a few of my friends! But my heart still belongs to Edward!

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you could see the Will Young side of Olly too as Hubby thought I was mad when I said so. I hadn’t spotted the Gary Barlow aspect but now you’ve pointed it out I do!

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m so with you on the true failure is only when you stop trying…

    But oh Caroline, I’m so not with you on the Wolverine thing!

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really get the Wolverine thing either. But you mentioned X Factor so it’s all OK. Speaking as someone who’s had a lot of rejection – the X Factor does make me feel strangely better about it.

  • Lplate Author
    Posted September 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Hmm, where have i seen that picture before ;)


    I too saw Will Young in Olly, it made me so excited.

    And it is so heartening to see someone come back after being knocked down again. x

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link of Olly M singing. Excellent.

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I am so with you on Wolverine!! I don’t watch X Factor so can’t comment on the singers but I completely agree on following your dreams :-D

    C x

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    He is very pretty indeed! We loved Ollie in our house too. He reminded hubby of Will Young and I thoughr he must be Gary Barlow’s son … so you must be onto something :o) x

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Olly even !!

  • Paul
    Posted September 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I largely agree with what you are saying regarding the need to keep trying. And as you know I speak from experience in terms of rejections.
    But, I’m beginning to feel uncomfortable with the X Factor, particularly the way they wheel out the “No-hopers” for bouts of ritual humilation in front of a live audience.
    It’s increasingly obvious that all the acts have been vetted beforehand, that the panel are are well-briefed in advance, and that they only see the best and worst (most laughable) acts.
    OK that’s show business.
    And some are down right cocky, and perhaps even deserve bringing down a peg or two, but many of the people we are laughing at (and I know I do it) obviously already have more than enough problems to cope with, in terms of their emotional and/or intellectual development, and lifestyle.
    In their case, I worry that publicly destroyed dreams might have implications that live on for them, long after Simon and co. have moved on.

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    That’s the problem with me and Simon Cowell, Paul. Rejection can come in many forms, we as writers know this, some nicer than others, some soul crushing. I always wonder about those soul crushers- what’s their deal? Give me the form letter if you cna’t do any better.

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    claire p – you are wise, focusing on Edward alone. My fear is that I am spreading myself out a bit too much :)

    Cathy – I fear your hubby does not love Will Young enough. I see him everywhere… sigh.

    JJ Beattie – oh my, I think you said that about Simon too! But Wolverine is soooooo delicious.

    Helen M Hunt – wha>? WHAT? How can you not get the Wolverine thing? I am aware that you’ve said other serious things too, but really? Wolverine?… yum!

    Lplate Author – he’s mine. Him and Will… so hands off, young lass! (gosh, I do appear to be collecting men at the moment and refusing to share… opps)

    Debs – he’s so good! A real spark.

    Carol – hooray! I knew there was a reason I liked you… but he’s mine, so hands off!

    Mandy – great minds think alike! :)

    Paul – I understand completely and I posted about the same thing last week or the week before. If you look in my tags, on my sidebar (under XFactor), you’ll see the post. I’m really looking forward to bootcamp and the results shows, last night I had little else to say and really just focused in on 2 out of the many acts shown.

    Lauri – the deal is that some of us call the crushing of others ‘entertainment’, but I’d bet that every single audience member who gets a kick out of someone else’s humiliation, well I bet they’ve never folowed their own dreams. I feel so strongly about this. That’s why I’d never post a bad review on this blog, I’d prefer not to say anything about the book or event or piece of music. Who am I to shatter someone’s dreams or undermine achievements? I guess I’m of the school of thought that if I don’t have somethign nie to say, then really I should just keep quite! I know that I’m going off topic here… but dream crushers and humiliators make me sad inside.


  • Paul
    Posted September 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Caroline – I hadn’t read your earlier post, but I have now, and realise I have largely repeated what you had already said – Many apologies. x

    Hi Lauri – My least favourite rejection from an agent was scribbled on a compliment slip and went something to the effect of – “I might have difficulty placing this and quite frankly I don’t love it enough to even bother trying” – So smug and dismissive.

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I think I am missing something with Olly, I really didnt get him at all. There was a girl on it that I loved. I cant remember her name but she was from south london and shares a room with her two sisters. Ahhh cant remember her name but she brought a tear to my eye.

  • Posted September 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    In a covering letter with a submission last year I explained that poor health had stopped me writing for a few years. In the rejection e-mail the producer (it was a theatre script I ‘d sent) said it was a pity that my health had improved enough for me to write again because I was so awful.
    That was just what I needed. I wept, and then I wrote with a new passion and this year I have just got my first book deal with Virago due for publication in February 2011.
    I am terrified and thrilled and I think the deal all the sweeter for the wait. Rejection is a test to see how much you want something – don’t fail it, go back for more.
    Anna May x
    ps: Olly to win !

  • Posted September 14, 2009 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I can’t look at that photo of Wolverine without thinking of Marcus from BB (barf). Just doesn’t do it for me, uh, uh, oh no.

    I read somehwere that there is an Aspie in the final 50 of the XFactor.

    I am not thinking fo rejections, I refuse to. I’ll deal with them when I have to.

  • Paul
    Posted September 14, 2009 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    @Anna May Mangan – That rejection certainly beats mine in terms of nastiness. I’m so glad that you took strength from it, and many congratulations.
    The best philosophy in terms of rejection is to learn what you can (if anything) from it – then just – “Pick myself up, Dust myself off, Start All over again.”

  • Posted September 14, 2009 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Caroline- I’m so glad you wrote that. I occassionally do book reviews on my blog. I’m not a book reviewer just a reader but sometimes I feel I can’t keep quiet about a book. I’ve thought I’m being unfair since I only write about the books I love, only once I wrote about a book I didn’t like and that was because it was so misogynistic and was getting praised like it was god’s gift to the literature of Southern Africa. The point is,I’ve often thought I’m somehow cheating in the book reviewer world since I just ignore the books I don’t like mainly I feel it’s only my opinion and I don’t feel qualified to “reject” someone.

    Paul- sorry about that rejection. This I why I’m usually for the Dear Writer types. If you don’t like it fine- then leave me be.

  • Posted September 14, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Paul – oh no need to apologise! Was just showing you that I feel the same way. That rejection you had is awful! There is much about this industry that upsets me x

    Lily Sheehan – she was singing Songbird, wasn’t she? I liked her, but think she picked the wrong song for her voice.

    Anna May Mangan – that is so awful! But your publication is something to be very VERY proud of – thank you for consolidating the message within this blog post in a very beautiful way. I can’t wait to read your book! xxx

    DJ Kirkby – I don’t watch BB, so no spoiling Wolverine for me! :)

    Lauri – I so understand. I guess in choosing who to review, I’m rejecting – BUT I honestly feel that this blog has to be true and I can only talk about things that I can connect with.


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